Ark. jury considering man's fate in officer death

PARAGOULD, Ark. (AP) - A Greene County jury is now deliberating the fate of a man convicted of killing a Trumann police officer.

A courthouse official says jury deliberations began shortly after 9:30 a.m. Saturday after prosecutors and defense attorneys presented closing arguments on whether Jerry Lard should be sentenced to life in prison without parole or to death.

The jury convicted Lard of capital murder Thursday in the shooting death of Trumann police officer Jonathan Schmidt during a 2011 traffic stop. The trial was moved from Poinsett County to Greene County at the request of the defense.

Lard's attorneys didn't dispute that he shot Schmidt - but say childhood abuse and drug use affected his judgment.

Prosecutors contend Lard knew what he was doing.

A gag order prohibits attorneys from discussing the case.

Information from: The Jonesboro Sun,

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